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Old 08-04-2008, 09:18 AM   #1
Lopoetve OP
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How's BMW reliability (thinking 650/800GS) and maintenance?

I've been shopping for an adventure bike for a bit now, and a friend made me promise I'd at least give the new BMWs a try. So, as well as the Uly and Strom, I'll be traveling down to the BMW shop to take a look, but this is the question I don't know -

Buell reliability has always been a little questionable with a few design choices (rear wheel bearings?), but generally solid, and maintenance on those buggers is dead simple (yay air cooled twin).
The Strom, from what I've read, is dead reliable, and also easy to work on.

I'm passing on KTM because of the maintenance nightmare I've seen - but where does the new BMW twins fit in? How hard are they to work on, and how has longevity and reliability been (historically, since these are new bikes) for the company?
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:30 PM   #2
Dave92029
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Question BMW Reliability

I hope that the new F series bike are more reliable than the current R series bikes.

Some of the on going "issues" with R series bikes that come to mind are:

Final drive failure
ABS brake
Key ring replacement
Fuel guage readjustment
Clutch

All of the above items, which are not formal recalls, will cause you to call for road side assistance and a tow to your nearest authorized BMW dealer.

The quality and reliability of the current BMW bikes have caused many loyal BMW riders to buy other brand bikes. I'm one.

An other indicator is the semi annual Iron Butt, and the number of DNF or BMW's that broke down.

Buy a V Strom for a lot less money and the same amount of fun. You can spend your time talking about your rides rather than how the dealer fixed this and that under warranty.
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:36 PM   #3
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my only problem with the strom is just that they're, well, so soulless... :( No offense at all to them, they just never did much for me. Maybe the 1000, since I mostly rode the 650. Hows the 1k off-road? not single track, just fire-road/double track/gravel?
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:00 PM   #4
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Wink Depends on the rider

In the last Iron Butt there was a Victory Vison entered. I think that the stock bike weighs 900 pounds, but this bike was entered in the Iron Butt so it was carrying extra fuel and everything that might be need for two weeks riding any where in North America. Not the bike that most would choose to ride "off road".

There was a bonus location to Bristle Cone Pine forrest to vist the oldest living tree in the world. The road to the bonus is twelve miles of of rock, dirt and pot holes.

The fully loaded Victory Vision made the 24 miles round trip with no problems. It wasn't because this is a good off road bike, but because there was a real good rider on this bike.



This was a long way of answering your question about how "good" is the V Strom off road. My answer is it depends on how good a rider is on the V strom.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave92029
In the last Iron Butt there was a Victory Vison entered. I think that the stock bike weighs 900 pounds, but this bike was entered in the Iron Butt so it was carrying extra fuel and everything that might be need for two weeks riding any where in North America. Not the bike that most would choose to ride "off road".

There was a bonus location to Bristle Cone Pine forrest to vist the oldest living tree in the world. The road to the bonus is twelve miles of of rock, dirt and pot holes.

The fully loaded Victory Vision made the 24 miles round trip with no problems. It wasn't because this is a good off road bike, but because there was a real good rider on this bike.



This was a long way of answering your question about how "good" is the V Strom off road. My answer is it depends on how good a rider is on the V strom.
I just rode that road in daytime and hit around 65mph on the straights but didnt feel very smart doing it,I was riding a DR 650 with street tires on it which seemed to work well for some odd reason. the bristlecone pines were neat to see. I had a V-Strom 1000 and it didnt seem like any more of a dirt bike then any 500lb street bike Ive had. But Im a two stroke dirt bike guy. If your careful any streetbike can work ok on dirt roads.
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lopoetve
my only problem with the strom is just that they're, well, so soulless...
Spot on!

Ignore dumb-ass comments about final-drive failure. Some people obviously have a axe to grind; the 650/800GS are chain drive.

You'll love it.
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildman
Spot on!

Ignore dumb-ass comments about final-drive failure. Some people obviously have a axe to grind; the 650/800GS are chain drive.

You'll love it.
One man's souless may be another's epiphany, but the rest of your post is, as you say, "spot on"....
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tallnwide
One man's souless may be another's epiphany, but the rest of your post is, as you say, "spot on"....
and I grant that - there's certainly nothing WRONG with the strom - it just doesn't do anything for me, at all. I tried riding a bike like that for a year. put 5k on a Ninja 650R. bike had no soul either, and it never felt right. Sold it, bought something else.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildman

Ignore dumb-ass comments about final-drive failure. Some people obviously have a axe to grind; the 650/800GS are chain drive.

Uh, he was referring to the R models, those with drive shafts... Who's the dumb-ass now?

BMW's cost more to maintain than Japanese bikes for sure. And BMW's suffer from some very weird engineering problems, something that seems very ironic to me. The fuel gauge problem is utterly bizarre. Helll, my $2,000 Yamaha Zuma had a more accurate fuel gauge than my big GS did.

As for the new twins - they're not a BMW motor (at least I don't think so - could be wrong). The older 650 had a Rotax engine, never heard about a problem with that motor. As long as BMW doesn't make it themselves, it seems to work.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:52 PM   #10
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The new 800 twin motors are Rotax design as well.

I've been lurking on a lot of different forums trying my best to learn as much as I can about the new F-GS twin motorcycles. I may have missed it but I've heard absolutely nothing about steering head bearing failres.

Here's what I've heard:
Stalling - some have been fixed by uploading latest software
loose hardware - comb the bike on delivery to verify all fastners are at least tight
A few EWS failures - ring and computer replaced under warranty

not seen too much else..
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey_Boy
Uh, he was referring to the R models, those with drive shafts... Who's the dumb-ass now? ...
Urm... you? The OP asked about the F650/800GS so WTF has R model shaft drive got to do with it?

Seems to me you're also talking out of your ass as you seem to know nothing about the new twins. You wanna bash BMW? Fine. It speaks more about you than it does the bike.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey_Boy
BMW's cost more to maintain than Japanese bikes for sure. And BMW's suffer from some very weird engineering problems, something that seems very ironic to me. The fuel gauge problem is utterly bizarre. Helll, my $2,000 Yamaha Zuma had a more accurate fuel gauge than my big GS did.
So if a BMW lasts longer than a Japanese bike (and I understand that some last longer than others on both sides of this equation), how do you factor that in on cost?
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lopoetve
my only problem with the strom is just that they're, well, so soulless... :( No offense at all to them, they just never did much for me. Maybe the 1000, since I mostly rode the 650. Hows the 1k off-road? not single track, just fire-road/double track/gravel?
The 650 is about the most boring bike available for sale. Every time I see one, I"m amazed that the owner is so easy to please. The DL1k is more exciting but mine had poor fueling and poor shifting which some do. The lunatic fringe Strom owners claim both can be sorted out with a lot of work and some money. I felt the Strom very comfortable and a great value, but I'd rather pay more and get more. So I did.

The little GS's are new so there is no reliability figures which are real, but the engines are Rotax which are plain terrific. My G-X Rotax is a single 650. I run it at 80 mph for hours at a time and it burns no oil. Also many guys use Rotax engines (different models!!) for their ultra light airplanes so they think they are reliable.

If I were looking for the one bike do it all, I'd look at the Kwak Versys and the new BMW GS series.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slide
The 650 is about the most boring bike available for sale. Every time I see one, I"m amazed that the owner is so easy to please. The DL1k is more exciting but mine had poor fueling and poor shifting which some do. The lunatic fringe Strom owners claim both can be sorted out with a lot of work and some money. I felt the Strom very comfortable and a great value, but I'd rather pay more and get more. So I did.

The little GS's are new so there is no reliability figures which are real, but the engines are Rotax which are plain terrific. My G-X Rotax is a single 650. I run it at 80 mph for hours at a time and it burns no oil. Also many guys use Rotax engines (different models!!) for their ultra light airplanes so they think they are reliable.

If I were looking for the one bike do it all, I'd look at the Kwak Versys and the new BMW GS series.
My DR650 will run at 80 mph all day and has never used a drop of oil or vibrated much or needed a service every 6,000 miles like some european bikes seem to need.Its so simple it should be criminal,dirt or street it works fine. 3,000 on craigs list and then 2,000 for setup on suspension and what not and its an off/on road touring bike. No panache what so ever but it works for me on an increasing number of road trips.
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slide
The 650 is about the most boring bike available for sale. Every time I see one, I"m amazed that the owner is so easy to please. The DL1k is more exciting but mine had poor fueling and poor shifting which some do. The lunatic fringe Strom owners claim both can be sorted out with a lot of work and some money. I felt the Strom very comfortable and a great value, but I'd rather pay more and get more. So I did.

The little GS's are new so there is no reliability figures which are real, but the engines are Rotax which are plain terrific. My G-X Rotax is a single 650. I run it at 80 mph for hours at a time and it burns no oil. Also many guys use Rotax engines (different models!!) for their ultra light airplanes so they think they are reliable.

If I were looking for the one bike do it all, I'd look at the Kwak Versys and the new BMW GS series.
i thought they'd been out overseas for some time?
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